The Cheapest Idaho Health Insurance for Individuals and Families

The amount of coverage you choose determines the cost of health insurance purchased in Idaho's private insurance market. The state's private health insurance market is divided into three distinct categories known as metal tiers, each having specific deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. Idaho's Silver plans, which cost an average of $544 per month for a 40-year-old, offer a perfect balance of cost and coverage. The Mountain Health CO-OP's Access Silver plan has the lowest average monthly premium in Idaho, costing $487.

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Last Updated: 11/15/2022
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Those who aren't eligible for the federal government's Medicaid or Medicare or don't have a job offering health insurance have the option of finding the best health insurance in Idaho through the private insurance market.

It can be challenging to find a cheap health insurance plan that provides generous coverage. Besides covering less, a low-cost plan also comes with higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. On the other hand, health insurance plans with more coverage can be more expensive. As a result, those opting for low-cost coverage due to cheaper premiums may find themselves paying more money out of their pockets before the insurer begins compensating for their medical bills.

MoneyGeek evaluated several plan types in the insurance marketplace for various age groups to help you identify the cheapest and best health insurance plans in Idaho.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho by Metal Tier

The majority of health insurance plans accessible through Idaho's private insurance marketplace are classified as Bronze, Silver or Gold. The metal tier system was created to help consumers compare health insurance policies from various insurance companies. Prices and cost-sharing for each insurance policy vary depending on the level to which it is allocated. The most insurer cost-sharing is found in Gold plans, while the least is seen in Bronze policies. That explains why plans belonging to the Gold tier are more expensive than those in the Bronze tier.

Bronze plans offer higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, but Gold plans have broader coverage with lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. The average monthly health insurance rates in Idaho for the three tiers are as follows:

  • Bronze: $374 per month
  • Silver: $544 per month
  • Gold: $571 per month

Deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums for Idaho’s private insurance policies vary substantially between metal levels, just as their monthly rates do. The table below shows the cheapest available average monthly premium for each metal tier.

Idaho residents with low income may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions applicable to Silver plans. These policies have much lower premiums than plans from the Gold tier while providing better coverage than lower-level plans. In general, Silver plans offer a fair balance of price and coverage and are ideal for those searching for low-income health insurance in Idaho.

MoneyGeek examined rates for plans available in Idaho based on a 40-year-old's sample profile. These prices apply to HMO, PPO and POS plans, with HMO being the most generally accessible in the state.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho by Metal Tier

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  • Metal Tier
    Plan
    Company
    Monthly Cost
    OOP Max
  • Bronze
    IDID Southwest Bronze 7300
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $323
    $8,550
  • Silver
    Access Silver
    Mountain Health CO-OP
    $487
    $7,500
  • Gold
    IDID Southwest Gold 2000
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $522
    $5,500

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho by Age and Metal Tier

While evaluating insurance plans from the Idaho health exchange, we observed that age significantly impacted health insurance premiums. Insurance prices increase as you become older. A Silver HMO plan in Idaho will cost roughly $436 per month for a 26-year-old, while the same coverage will cost around $1,156 per month for a 60-year-old.

Health Insurance Costs in Idaho by Age and Metal Tier

Idaho's insurance marketplace estimates are simply averages based on sample ages without considering how income influences insurance prices. In addition, because insurers consider tax premiums and other considerations, seniors in the state may obtain lower rates than the sample rates you can find in our data. As a result, unless you apply for insurance, you will have no idea what your actual premium will be.

You can use the table below to learn how costs vary depending on metal tier plans and age groups. More information about the insurance metal levels is available in our comprehensive guide to Idaho health insurance.

Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho by Age And Metal Tier

Sort by Metal Tier:

Silver

Sort by Age:

40 years

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  • Plan
    Company
    Monthly Rate
  • Bronze
    POS
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $231
  • Bronze
    POS
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $231
  • Bronze
    POS
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $233
  • Bronze
    POS
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $233
  • Bronze
    POS
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    $235
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The Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho by County

In Idaho, the cost of health insurance varies based on your physical address. Every state in the United States is divided into rating areas, each with one or more counties. When calculating your monthly insurance premiums, health insurance companies consider which rating zone your county belongs to. Insurers estimate premiums for counties in the same rating zone in the same way.

Idaho's 44 counties are classified into six rating zones. The SLHP Silver 5000 plan from Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Inc. is the cheapest Silver health insurance plan available to residents of Ada, Idaho's most populous county. The average monthly cost of the plan is about $559.

For each metal tier, use the table below as a reference to determine the most affordable plan in your county.

The average premiums for all counties and metal tiers were calculated using a 40-year-old individual's profile.

Cheapest Health Insurance Plans in Idaho by County

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Ada

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  • Metal Tier
    Company
    Cheapest Plan
    Monthly Premium
  • Benewah
    Bronze
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    KCN North Bronze 7300
    $326
  • Bonner
    Bronze
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    KCN North Bronze 7300
    $326
  • Boundary
    Bronze
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    KCN North Bronze 7300
    $326
  • Kootenai
    Bronze
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    KCN North Bronze 7300
    $326
  • Shoshone
    Bronze
    Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.
    KCN North Bronze 7300
    $326

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes

Healthy young people in Idaho may pick a low-cost health insurance plan with lower rates because their medical expenditures are minimal. Their out-of-pocket maximum, on the other hand, will be higher. As a result, if you have a medical emergency or often see the doctor, you will have to spend more money out of pocket before the insurance company begins compensating you.

Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc.'s IDID Southwest Bronze 7300 is the cheapest plan with the highest out-of-pocket maximum for Idaho’s residents. For a 26-year-old, this plan could cost around $259 per month.

MoneyGeek looked at plans with yearly maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $8,250 or higher for this study.

Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc

Despite the low monthly premiums, IDID Southwest Bronze 7300 is in the Bronze metal tier, which means higher deductibles.

The Cheapest Health Insurance in Idaho With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums

If your medical costs are higher than the average person's, you should opt for a health insurance plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum. Regardless of the higher premiums, if you see a doctor or pay for prescription medication regularly, you'll quickly reach the low out-of-pocket limits of such a plan. Your insurance company will start paying your medical bills once you reach the out-of-pocket maximum.

IDID Southwest Gold 2000 from Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc. is the cheapest health insurance plan in Idaho with a low out-of-pocket maximum. This plan will cost around $522 per month for a 40-year-old person.

MoneyGeek looked at plans with a yearly maximum cost of less than $4,250 for this study. The maximum out-of-pocket rate for IDID Southwest Gold 2000 is $5,500, which is higher than the threshold of $4,250. However, compared to Idaho’s other policies, this is the plan with the lowest out-of-pocket limit and cheapest premiums, on average.

Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc

IDID Southwest Gold 2000 is a Gold plan, which means it has lower out-of-pocket maximums and higher monthly premiums. Nonetheless, if you have significant medical expenses, you will quickly exhaust your maximum out-of-pocket limit, and the insurance provider will begin covering your costs.

Cheapest POS/PPO/HMO Health Insurance Plan in Idaho

You should consider first analyzing your health care requirements and preferences to get the best health insurance plan in Idaho. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans make up the vast bulk of the plans offered through Idaho's private insurance market. In addition, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Point-of-Service (POS) plans are also available in the market.

HMO plans in Idaho only cover medical help from in-network health care providers, except in an emergency. You can also get services from in-network specialists with the help of your primary care physician's referral. These policies are less expensive than other healthcare plans and are ideal if you don't mind having a higher deductible.

PPO plans, on the other hand, are very flexible for the policyholder. You do not require a primary care physician in your network, nor do you need their referrals to see a specialist. In summary, you may see both in-network and out-of-network doctors under a PPO plan. However, the expenses of seeing a doctor outside of your chosen network will be high, and you will have to pay more out-of-pocket for such expenditures.

POS plans are hybrids of HMO and PPO plans. You can choose in-network specialists using a primary care physician's reference at low costs. You will also have access to consult doctors and specialists outside of your preferred network. However, this comes with increased expenses, and you may need your insurance provider's approval to cover the costs of medical procedures.

The following are the cheapest health insurance plans in Idaho for each accessible plan type:

  • Cheapest HMO Silver Plan: Navigator Silver HSA 3500 from PacificSource Health Plans, costing an average of about $573 for a 40-year-old person
  • Cheapest PPO Silver Plan: SLHP Silver 5000 provided by Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Inc., costing an average of $502 per month for a 40-year-old individual
  • Cheapest POS Silver Plan: Access Silver offered by Mountain Health CO-OP costs around $487 a month for an average 40-year-old individual

Cheapest Plan in Idaho With an HSA

Several Idaho health insurance policies include a Health Savings Account, or HSA. HSAs are tax-free savings accounts that may be used to cover insurance deductibles and copays, as well as other medical costs. You will be able to open an HSA only if you purchase a high-deductible health plan. This means that if you are in good health and have minor medical expenses, an HSA may benefit you. You can use your HSA to meet your deductible and copay in the case of a medical emergency. These plans are less expensive and provide more pre-tax medical payments. If you don't need the money right now for medical expenses, it will build as savings for future medical costs.

According to MoneyGeek’s data, the following two healthcare plans in Idaho with a Health Savings Account (HSA) are the cheapest in each available tier:

  • Cheapest HSA Bronze Plan: The IDID Southwest Bronze HSA 6250 plan provided by Blue Cross of Idaho Health Service, Inc., which costs an average of $356 per month
  • Cheapest HSA Silver Plan: The SelectHealth Silver 3500 HSA Qualified plan provided by SelectHealth, Inc., costing an average of $561 per month

HSA plans, as previously noted, generally have higher deductibles. Therefore, if you have an unexpected medical emergency that demands major hospital expenditures, you must be prepared to invest a substantial portion of your funds as a deductible.

What to Know About Health Insurance in Idaho

MoneyGeek's study calculated the cheapest health insurance rates using sample data from Idaho's private insurance marketplace. Our study's prices may not be the cheapest. Residents from low-income households or seniors may be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, which generally cost much less than most marketplace plans.

Private Health Insurance on the Idaho Marketplace

Idaho's insurance exchange classifies healthcare plans into three metal tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Of all the plans, Bronze-tier plans offer the cheapest premiums but the highest out-of-pocket maximums. On the other hand, Gold plans offer higher monthly premiums but a lower overall cost if you use a lot of medical care. In addition, Gold plans have very low deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Regardless, the same level of critical health coverage applies to all plans.

All of the levels described below fulfill state and federal health insurance requirements for Idaho. However, they do differ in several ways.

  • Bronze: Bronze insurance policies are much less expensive than plans belonging to the higher tiers. Although they have cheaper monthly premiums, they have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. Some Bronze plans have deductibles in the thousands of dollars. These plans are ideal for healthy people who seldom have medical expenses and merely want low-cost health insurance coverage to safeguard them in the event of a medical emergency.
  • Silver: Consider a Silver plan if you want your insurance to cover a more significant portion of your regular medical expenditures. They are cheaper than Gold policies and have lower deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than Bronze plans. People who qualify for cost-sharing reductions are ideal candidates for these plans. When compared to Bronze-tier insurance, Silver plans can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year if you have considerable medical expenses.
  • Gold: Gold insurance plans feature higher monthly premiums than Bronze and Silver policies but lower out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. Individuals who require regular medical treatment and are ready to pay higher premiums to cover the majority of their medical expenses should consider this policy. If you need routine medical care, the overall cost of a Gold plan will be far lower than that of a lower-tier plan, and you may end up saving thousands of dollars.

MoneyGeek's research only represents sample rates; you may be qualified for lower-cost plans or more coverage. In addition, your family's income level could have a significant impact on your insurance rates. If you belong to a family with a monthly income between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for premium tax credits. These tax credits are available to two-person households in Idaho with annual earnings ranging from $17,420 to $69,680. You may find out more about this by using the HealthCare.gov calculator.

A person can enroll in a new health insurance plan through the health insurance exchange during the open enrollment period, which generally happens between November and December. However, the government has extended the deadline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, life events, such as marriage, losing health insurance, having a baby or moving may entitle you to a special enrollment period. Enrollment periods for job-based insurance plans may differ. It should be noted that there is no time restriction for applying for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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You may be eligible for cost-sharing reductions (CSR) under a Silver plan if your family income is between 138% and 250% of the federal poverty line. Those who qualify may even be able to obtain Gold-level coverage for the price of a Silver-level plan. This reduces the deductible, copayments or coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximums of the plan. For example, in 2021, a two-person household earning between $24,040 and $43,550 yearly in Idaho may be eligible for these reduced costs.

Medicaid in Idaho

As Medicaid is free, it is the most cost-effective plan for qualified individuals from Idaho. Besides, the state is a Medicaid expansion state. This means that if your household income is less than 138% of the federal poverty level, you are eligible for free Medicaid.

Medicare in Idaho

Medicare, a federal healthcare program, may be accessible to Idaho citizens over the age of 65 and those with a qualifying disability or sickness. However, unlike Medicaid, which is usually free, you may have to pay for certain Medicare plan services. In any case, Medicare policies are much cheaper than private health insurance policies.

Medicare consists of three parts, each covering a separate service:

  • Part A: Hospital insurance, commonly referred to as Part A, covers hospital stays, hospice care, skilled nursing facility care and specific home-based health care.
  • Part B: This is your medical insurance, and it covers doctor's visits, outpatient treatments, medical supplies and preventive care.
  • Part D: This covers prescription medications as well as various required vaccines. It's also known as prescription medication insurance.

Methodology

MoneyGeek's research is based on estimates, and the cheapest plan for you will depend on your individual needs and characteristics. This analysis is intended to serve as a guide and no single plan is guaranteed to be the cheapest in Idaho for you

MoneyGeek collected plans and premiums for health insurance in Idaho from the website for Your Health Idaho for all available metal tiers and across several age groups. Plans and premiums were analyzed in May 2021. 

Health insurance premiums on this page are an estimate and exclude potential premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies that users may be eligible for. 

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.